Cumberland Heights Reports on the Disease of Addiction in Women (En)
Not only is the physiology of addiction different for women, so are the social implications regarding treatment.
“Our society doesn’t have time for women to be sick. Wives and mothers are supposed to be there 24/7,” says Alley. “As a result, women often neglect themselves.”
Treatment should also take into consideration gender differences. For example, in group therapy, women, natural caretakers, sometimes spend more time making other people feel comfortable than on their own recovery. Furthermore, woman who were abused, raped or traumatized in other ways aren’t likely to share those things with male patients. Because of these critical factors, women suffering from addiction need specialized treatment.
“Our goal is to provide a treatment plan that takes into consideration all the pressures women in treatment face… marriage, parenting, body image and trauma,” says Melissa Hudgens, director of the Women’s Program at Cumberland Heights. “Tailoring our women’s program renders better chances for long-term recovery.”
Loved ones can help by reaching out, discussing the problem and being an advocate for treatment. “Often women just need to be reassured that their families will survive and need them to take time to take care of themselves,” said Dr. Alley. “If they commit to treatment, they can recover and return to living happy, productive lives with their families.”